Vinita Public Schools Hires New Superintendent

The Vinita Board of Education approved the hire of Gabe Schmidt as the district’s next superintendent. Schmidt will step into his new role this July, upon current Vinita Superintendent Kelly Grimmett’s retirement. 

Schmidt is currently the principal at Cimarron Middle School in Edmond. As a Northeastern Oklahoma native, he is excited to return and give back to a community that helped shape him into the educator he is today.

“As a native of Northeast Oklahoma – Green Country, Vinita holds a special place in my heart, and I am thrilled to step into the role of Superintendent for the Vinita Hornets," Schmidt expressed. "With Vinita poised for exciting growth, I eagerly anticipate contributing to this journey. Working together with educators, families, and community members, we aim to cultivate a learning environment that fosters each student's unique potential and builds upon

the esteemed legacy of Vinita Public Schools.”

Mr. Gabe Schmidt has been a principal at Cimarron Middle School since 2018 and for the past six years has spearheaded several successful strategic initiatives. He has helped grow the orchestra and choir program, supported teacher retention and recognition, and implemented student support and leadership programs – including Principal’s Advisory Council of Kindness (PACK) and Where Everybody Belongs (WEB). 

“Mr. Schmidt is a collaborative leader who recognizes our district’s success and the exciting developments in our community.” Vinita Board President Sammie Prince said. “We look forward to working together with Mr. Schmidt, our district staff, parents, students and community as we continue to shape the future of Vinita Public Schools and prepare students for success.”

Before his success as an innovative, student-focused administrator, Schmidt started his career in the classroom. Receiving a Bachelor of Business Administration and Vocational Ministry from Oklahoma Christian University in 2004, Schmidt began his career as an educator a year later at Central Middle School in Edmond where he was math teacher and coached. After a year in teaching, he received Central’s Rookie of the Year award in 2006. 

In 2009, Schmidt earned his master’s in education leadership from the University of Central Oklahoma. After six years with Central Middle School, Schmidt stepped into his first role as an administrator as the high school and middle school principal and athletic director at Oklahoma Christian Academy. Schmidt returned to Edmond Public Schools in 2014 where he would go on to be an assistant principal at Sequoyah Middle School, Central Middle School, North High School and Heartland Middle School before accepting his current position as principal of Cimarron Middle School. 

According to Prince, the Board of Education will host a meet-and-greet reception for Mr. Schmidt on Monday, April 8 from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Vinita High School cafeteria, located at

801 N Adair Street

Vinita OK 74301.

OSSBA has helped facilitate superintendent searches across the state, working with other school board associations throughout the country to ensure a competitive candidate pool. The non-profit organization has partnered with several Oklahoma school districts of all sizes to perform superintendent searches, including Bethany, Piedmont and Frontier.